Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

How can I have my passport name match my other documents?

by Jenelle
(Ravensdale, WA)

Question: Hello, Thank you for your time in answering my question. My husband and I are going on a surprise cruise in 4 weeks!!! I need to get a passport; however, my driver's license has my current married name, but my birth certificate and social security has my maiden name.

I need to make sure all names used are correct and the same. What is the quickest way for me to get a passport and be safe? I am not sure of the steps or timing of changing my social security to my married name and then having the passport have that name and be here in time? Please let me know what steps I can follow to make sure I can get a legal passport in time (by Jan 20th of next year) Thank you so much...I hope this makes sense.

I would love for my passport to have my married name "Sloan" but if I need to change it to my maiden name due to timing...that will have to surprises ;)

Thank you so very much, please enjoy your day and I look forward to your replay.

Answer: You must apply for a passport in your current legal name which, I assume, is your married name. If you have never had a passport, then you need to apply for a new passport using form DS-11. Besides the regular requirements, you should also submit an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate showing the change to your married name.

Standard processing usually takes 4-6 weeks but can take longer during holiday seasons. You can request expedited service for processing in 2-3 weeks. Note, this can sometimes take longer due to holidays, bad weather and/or problems with submitted documents.

The only way to "guarantee" your passport application is processed speedily is to either visit the Seattle Passport Agency or employ the assistance of a qualified passport expediting service.

Note, you may want to verify the need for a passport before you submit the application. Passports are not required for closed-loop cruises.

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Adding a middle Initial
by: Rolando

Question: My California drivers license has my first middle and last name, my Passport, Birth Certificate and Social Security card just have my first and last name. Can I have my real ID and Passport with my middle initial?

Answer: You can but it is ideal to have all of your documents match.

Just Married
by: Anonymous

Question: I just got married and am in the process of changing my last name to his. I will not be keeping my maiden name. I also just got my passport renewed in May and will be traveling to Poland in June. Do I have to change my name on my passport and go through the whole process and paying the fee to update my passport, or can I just leave my maiden name on my passport?

Answer: First of all, congratulations!

If you apply for the passport name change before May, you do not have to pay any fee, except if you require expedited service which will cost $60.

You may also choose to continue using the passport in your maiden name. Just make sure to book all airline tickets in your maiden name to avoid issues with TSA. If you choose to change your name after your trip, you need to pay the renewal fee.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering extremely limited in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 72 hours. Those with qualified life-or-death emergencies are prioritized.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 business days).

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 AM to 5PM, call ET 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, 202-647-4000

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